Seven Tips for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

No point losing it only to find it again later.

It’s that time of year where the gyms are suddenly full, diet programs sell out and people everywhere are looking to lose weight.

New years resolutions are often the impetus you need to actually work towards losing that weight (again!).

However, most resolutioners quit before the end of January. 

This is really too bad. Being overweight isn’t just about your ego. If you are overweight, you greatly increase your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart-disease, cancer, arthritis and diabetes.

Dr. Arya Sharma, a professor of Medicine and Chair for Cardiovascular Obesity Research at the University of Alberta states, 

There is no health problem more important than obesity. Just about every chronic disease is linked to obesity. If you are dealing with an obesity-related chronic disease and you’re not treating obesity, you are really just doing palliative care. That, unfortunately, is true for most of our chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, hip and joint problems; the list goes on. We’ve must get to the root of the problem.” {Connie Bryson, 2010, Research News — Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, Spring 2010, 14}

Having excess weight is your number one health problem. 

If you find yourself in this situation, it is important that you reduce your weight. This can help you improve your quality of life and drastically reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease.

There are so many diets out there and most of them will work to help you lose weight, however, most of them are unsustainable. You will simply gain the weight back when you go off of the diet. 

In my opinion, the best way to lose weight, for good, is to avoid diets. Instead, make sustainable lifestyle changes. And keep them for life. 

Here are some tips to help you lose weight and start you on a path to a more healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that will eventually bring you closer to a healthy weight

Simple Lifestyle Choices/Easy Tips for Weight loss:

  1.  Avoid processed food. Yes — this really can be a choice that you maintain for a really long time (think forever!). At least, drastically reduce your intake of these foods. 

Processed food is usually unhealthy and addicting, leading to overeating and eating due to lack of nourishment and cravings.

Once you get over the addiction phase of not eating this type of food, and you decide that you prefer real food (that mental shift has to happen), it can be easy to avoid these foods.

Michael Pollan’s simple diet advice from his book In Defense of Food: An eater’s manifesto is:
Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.

2. Stop eating sugar. 

Or at least keep each meal or snack’s sugar content to less than 5 grams. 

Sugar has a huge impact on our weight due to it’s impact on insulin, a fat storage hormone. Decreasing sugar intake is a powerful and simple step to weight loss. 

This is not always easy at first due to sugars addictive quality, be strict with yourself until the addiction is broken, then it becomes easier, I promise!

3. Stop eating at least 4 hours before you go to sleep.

This allows your digestion to be complete before bed and gives your body time to rest from constant eating.

It will also teach your mind and body that you are not starving to death if you don’t always have a full stomach. Making this mental shift is important. This ties into…

4. Try intermittent fasting. 

Or at least lengthen the time you go without food to at least a 12 hour period.

For example, quit eating by 7 pm and don’t eat anything again until at least 7 am (that’s a 12 hour fast right there!). Intermittent fasters often try to lengthen their “fasting window” to 18 hours or so, but 12 hours is a great place to start.

5. Only eat until 80% full. 

 “Hara hachi bu” — the Japanese manta — means to stop eating your meal when you feel about 80% full.
 You don’t need to feel stuffed.
 People who live long and healthy lives generally don’t eat until they are totally full. 

6. Realize that the weight-loss battle is fought in the kitchen, not the gym.

The gym is important and working out will tone and strengthen your body, your heart and mind, but for losing weight, you simply MUST change your diet. 

You cannot out exercise your fork.

7. Drink more water. 

Often thirst masquerades as hunger and we generally don’t drink enough water.

These are just some easy, common sense tips to starting your path to a healthier, weight friendly lifestyle.

Pick one or two, or all of them and start taking some concrete action steps toward your goals!


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